The Balance Today: News You Need To Know on Sept. 1, 2022

Declining Unemployment Claims Provide Clues for Tomorrow

A woman presents during a meeting.

The Good Brigade / Getty Iamges

September is here and while the new month could bring new worries for investors, it could also deliver signs of hope. Over in the labor market, the number of people filing for unemployment for the first time (what’s known as jobless claims) fell to 232,000 at the end of last week. That’s the lowest level since July. 

This could be good news. So few people filing for unemployment benefits through the month of August might mean the unemployment rate didn’t go up last month, but we’ll find out when job numbers are reported tomorrow. So we might not need to worry that a wave of layoffs will be hitting us just yet.

But a strong jobs report could also reinforce the Federal Reserve’s belief the U.S. economy will be strong enough to handle more interest rate hikes. Yes, that means inflation should hopefully come down, but higher interest rates might take a bite out of corporate profits, which investors don’t love.

Stocks closed out the month of August with losses and are still losing ground today to start the new month. Expectations of another large rate hike when the central bank has its next policy meeting on September 20 and 21 are continuing to weigh on investors. And if the jobs report is strong, the chances of another super-sized rate hike of 75 basis points will go up. Currently, the markets are forecasting a 72% chance that the Fed will hit us with another huge hike.  

But what would a another rate hike mean for you? The higher interest rates go, the more you can expect rates to go up on loans like a mortgage or a car loan.

This article originally appeared in 'The Balance Today' newsletter. You can get 'The Balance Today' delivered to your inbox daily, just sign up here.

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The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Department of Labor. "Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims."

  2. Federal Reserve Economic Data. "Initial Claims."

  3. Yahoo Finance. "Major World Indices."

  4. CME Group. "FedWatch Tool."

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